Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black Rabbit Quilt

Black Rabbit Quilt
Originally uploaded by badbird
I think this quilt by Badbird is amazing. It is at once folksy and very modern. The flowers bring to mind toll painting or perhaps Mexican paper flowers, but that bunny is so cute. The bunny (not rabbit) is a modern update recalling the Hello Kitty generation.

At least thats what I like.
That and the obvious craftmanship and originality.


Friday, August 15, 2008


Finally! I have been working on these guys for a bit. The frames weren't too bad, I am pretty good with steel but the lighting system was waaayyy harder than it should have been. It's not really that hard to work with LED's especially with the fine advise to be found on But there is limited space behind this fish and the wall and I didn't want pin point dots of light. I wanted a more all-over lit space that really showed off the texture. I am experimenting with other animal forms, I really want to do an angler fish, maybe as a pendant lamp. Very satisfying though, completely made from scratch. Pencil rod steel frame, plasticized cheesecloth, hand carved eyes of exotic woods, and a home made lighting system.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

I am finally done with this one. I have never really done much embroidery or anything resembling it. So as you can imagine there was a bit of a learning curve to be had. Towards the end of it I was really happy with the consistency in my stitching.

The texture was what I was really concentrating on here. The wool all by itself has such a lush texture to it but the silk, cheesecloth and netting really added to it.

I really treated this like a painting.
So I suppose the wool and silk ground is the canvas and gesso, the machine stitching and variety of materials added is the underpainting and the hand stitching finishes it up.

On my next piece I want to experiment with kool-aid dying techniques and image transfer. I've got to start scrounging around at the thrift stores and garage sales for old thread. I'm getting low!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Shoes, DYI

While I have been working on my sewing callouses till the wee hours of the morning on my latest piece I saw this today and verily I say, "it is good".

In the depths of my email folders that I am currently trying to organize, I found this gem from non other than the good people at Maker magazine. How to make shoes, while I do have the Mary Loomis book, this blog is more modern and has some great diy tips.

With their blog they answer any questions that you might have.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Winning the Lottery

Winning the Lottery
Originally uploaded by A.K. Miles
I'm having a lot of fun with this one. In the lungs-type shape there are dollar signs. The lotteria card is made of a felted in book cover with hand stitching. This one is still in progress, I am working on the lotteria card more and it will have some 3-D aspects to it. The upper part has a layer of gold sheer silk that has been stitched over to create little pockets of texture.

A large piece of plasticized cheesecloth was felted into the ground. Many hours of hand stitching remain to complete this one. I haven't done any embroidery or hand stitchery in a very long time. I am enjoying it immensely.

Life Aquatic

Life Aquatic
Originally uploaded by A.K. Miles
This is a piece that was made with many layers of netting (vegetable and tutu), thread, yarn and found cloth. I was trying to channel Jaques Cousteau and the title come from the spooferific movie with the man, Bill Murray.

The ground was made with raw wool and hand dyed cheesecloth hand felted together. My goal above the scene itself was to create a super textural piece.

First Bloggins...

I have been experimenting with different fiber techniques for a while, I really enjoy felting, shibori, and free-form/hand machine stitching. Experimenting with plastic embedding and well as combinations of metal and fiber has been very fun. Going about it in a non-traditional manner interests me because I am free make my pieces in whatever way I find appropriate.

Right now I am using a lot of thread that would be normally useless, at least for sewing. As the thread ages it losses its integrity but with my more is more mentality, strength is in numbers. The more thread I layer the stronger the overall piece becomes. I think as I go on my work will become more and more influenced by folk art.There is a sense of spontaneity, lushness and honesty in folk art that I love.

What I working on right now is a piece that is initially a "canvas" of hand felted raw wool and strips of red raw silk. A one line drawing of a male bust was then formed with black wool yarn. Then many, many, many layers of fiber and thread were made, the lotteria card is hand embroidered over a book cover that was felted in to the fibers.